First half of a class with Allen Ginsberg discussing vividness and close observation in writing, particularly the writers who do it, including Walt Whitman, haiku, Jack Kerouac, Reznikoff, Imagists and William Carlos Williams. Ends with Ginsberg reading a poem that was a partial model for "Howl."(Continues on 86p306B.)
December 3, 2004 Subject:
Proto-Mind Writing Slogans Class
Allen reviews some of the "homemade" poetic sayings which became "Mind Writing Slogans". These very practical and concrete poetic techniques sum up a century and a half of literary consciousness and became the foundation of AG's idea of writing as a spiritual discipline. Around 25 minutes, he loses the slogan outline and discusses Haiku and Reznikoff but comes back with some solid insights near the end.
Summarizes first two workshops on direct perception (is this part 3 then??).
- No ideas but in things, facts. -WC Williams.
- Direct perception of the object- Pound
- Natural object is always the adequate symbol.
- Things are symbols of themselves- C. Trungpa
- See the world in a grain of sand... - Blake
- Pay Attention to minute Particulars - Blake
- Details are the life of Prose - Kerouac
- Emotion recollected in Tranquility
Criteria for what to write down: Vividness
"I remember" Joe Brainard
Value of discipline of this grounding to "things that you perceive, you see [as opposed to feelings]"
- Keep your mind clamped down on objects, close to the nose
- Bring the muse into the kitchen- Whitman
Thinking in terms of rhythm, assonance
Mindtricks and subtleties of writing
Pitch and the Dying Fall
25:00-32:50: Reads Student Work
33:00-46:30: Blyth's Haikus (his, Snyder and K's 'perception bible'), reads and discusses
46:30: Reznikoff discussion of direct perceptions and "mental guts"
54:54: Paydirt of poetry=vivid but rejected observations.
55:50: Using direct perceptions to move on to narrative poetry (a la Reznikoff)
1:10:40: David Cope
1:18:00: Materialism (Ginsberg) vs. Surrealism (Lamantia)
-What oft was thought but so rarely expressed
1:20:15: Mental Selectiveness: "regathering elements of the experience"
1:23: Noticing what you notice
1:29: If mind is shapely, art is shapely
-Every third thought shall be my grave